Life Lessons Learned in Louisville
My time in Louisville is drawing to a close. I head back to D.C. on Monday. Being here, working as a dramaturg on brownsville song (b-side for tray) for Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New Plays, has been at once a remarkable, challenging, inspiring and empowering experience. I am thankful to Jennifer Bielstein, Amy Wegener, Kimber Lee, and Meredith McDonough for this affirming, educational, and career-defining opportunity. What I wouldn't give to come back, and oh what a dream to be here as a playwright! Click here to learn more and purchase your tickets. Also, please enjoy these production photos by Bill Brymer and click here to learn more about the cast and crew.
Yesterday, before attending our first first preview, I walked that bridge that takes you to Indiana, as I've done so many times. Only this time, I walked against, through, and into 35-45 mph gale force winds. At one point, I held on to the metal railing as cars barreled passed. I don't know the depth of the Ohio River, but I know that my ability to swim pales against the strength of the tides.
Step by step, gust by gust, I made my way across and back. All the while, I thought of Dorothy, whose story I'm in process of adapting for Adventure Theatre-MTC. This poor determined farm girl, who dared to dream and asked the universe for something more, something beautiful, something different. And so, she was scooped up by the wind and dropped somewhere new, magical, wonderful, frightening, and free.
I thought about her journey and all that she learned ... all that she wouldn't have learned had she stayed in one place. Then I thought about all of the change happening around me, all of the unbelievably amazing opportunities life has given me, and I felt blessed. I also felt really stupid for walking out on that bridge in the midst of a wind advisory. But honestly all of that is what I think it takes to make it through life: the audacity to dream, heaps of courage to embrace change, a lot of determination mixed with a bit of stupidity, a complete willingness to ask for help when you need it, and the humility to learn from all that you've experienced. This is also why your failures are as important, if not more so, than your successes.
Today, I'm going to finish my 10 minute play, SISTERS, BY WAY OF GRACE, which I've been commissioned to write for Theatre Ariel's 10X8: FOOD, FAMILY, and PHILOSOPHY Salon Series. It's an imagined encounter between Tziporah and Miriam. More on all of that soon!
When I finish, I'm not going to take on that bridge that takes you to Indiana. The wind advisory is still in effect. Instead, I'll just meander about the city and see what adventure awaits.
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!